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  • #31
    Originally posted by EddyCurr View Post
    Thanks for setting me straight.
    - My first car was a 1966 Olds Toronado, which I still have. Back in the pre-internet days, we had to of course get all our info from books and magazines, and thankfully my dad was a gearhead, and had lots of car books. Over the first few years of getting the car (over which time I had to rebuild the engine and do other repairs to get it rolling) we gathered quite the collection of book and magazine articles about the car.

    It was, at the time, quite the sensation- the first truly mass-produced front wheel drive, a big "sport luxury" car with bold styling, etc. And virtually every article from back during the car's release mentioned aspects that were meant to hearken back to the FWD precursor in the 812 Cord- aspects like the hidden headlights, the straight-bar grille, the heavily accentuated wheelwells, etc.

    So naturally, being a budding gearhead and insatiably curious myself, I also read up on the Cord, at least what little I was able to do back then.

    Most of my reading was in an abstract way, since at the time the nearest actual Cord was probably 3,500 miles away down in the Lower 48.

    However, a few years after getting the beast rolling and back on the road, I had a chance to take a trip to visit relatives in the States, in the Midwest. One day, as we were pulling back into the relatives' driveway, I of course instantly spotted a gold '66 parked in the driveway of a house two or three doors up. I was told the old man that lived there was a close frend and very personable, so we wandered over for a chat.

    The old fellow turned out to have a second '67 in the garage, and, to my surprise, a pristine '37 Cord. We chatted for over an hour- I surprised him, in turn, with my knowledge of both cars- and he said he'd have taken us for a ride in the Cord, except he was at that moment in the middle of rebuilding the supercharger (presumably the bearings had gone out) which was sitting over on the bench.

    He suggested, possibly jokingly, that he was one of the country's foremost experts on the Cords' "electromechanical" transmission shifting system, which was somewhat famously not all that reliable.

    But I digress.

    Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)


    • #32

      Then no doubt you know about the 4 (5?) custom '67 Toronados Esso (nee Exxon) commissioned George Barris to build for a promotional give-away tied into celebrations for Canada's Centennial.

      Reportedly, a neighbor in Edmonton was one of the Grand Prize winners.

      The Toronado had a big influence on me, though I was partial to the later Eldorado, esp the lines of the front fenders. Jay Leno has an interesting Toronado, not the least of which features alloy wheels with faces machined to mimic the OEM hubcaps. Jerry Seinfeld squires Lewis Black around town in a stunning BLACK Eldorado in an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

      Thank you for validating the Cord/Supercharger recollection. I didn't understand why the supercharger didn't figure prominently in the snippets returned during my scan, nor the remarks about the cars being under-powered. Runs contrary.
      Last edited by EddyCurr; 06-01-2018, 01:18 AM.


      • #33
        Originally posted by Doc Nickel View Post
        It was, at the time, quite the sensation- the first truly mass-produced front wheel drive.

        In the US maybe but there were numerous other makers of FWD vehicles around the world.


        • #34
          Originally posted by The Artful Bodger View Post
          In the US maybe but there were numerous other makers of FWD vehicles around the world.
          -Of course! I'm well aware of Citroen's FWD from the early 30s, which was basically the first successful use of the design. (If you don't count those little BSA 3-wheelers. )

          Generally, almost all the articles back during the Toronado's release did in fact specify "first American made" FWD, or "first American made FWD since the Cord". Later articles from the 80s on up, generally preface it with "first successful American FWD", or even, as I saw once, "first successful FWD since the Citroen".

          But regardless of minutiae like that, the Toro did in fact make a significant splash to the motoring world starting in 1965. The technology, which we of course consider blase` and antiquated today, was actually quite cutting-edge for the time.

          Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)


          • #35
            Eddie I saw a 67 X here in Kelowna, it was being delivered somewhere.
            There was a restaurant car museum in Vancouver, I think they had one.
            Think the place was called Bakers or Frank Bakers.. something like that.

            I finished high school in 73....across from the school was a Pacific 66 station. The owner had a Hurst Rambler Scrambler .
            It was often parked in the corner of the lot facing the highway. AS FAR as I know, he still has it..
            Last edited by 754; 06-01-2018, 02:46 AM.


            • #36
              Originally posted by Machine View Post
              I knew two people who had Nash/AMC Ramblers in high school. A 62 (or 63?) and 64 and both had these bench seats that went all the way back so that they were perfectly flush with the back seats - it converted all the seats into a big bed. I think the car was designed to be a sort of camper in its time. But as a hand-me-down old beater car for high school kids in the 80's, those seats were used for something else. The older Rambler had a push button shifter on the dash. The other one had a standard column mounted automatic. Both had 6 cylinders, can't remember displacement.
              So here's a odd snippet, related in that its about AMC. Have you ever seen a Renault Rambler?
              Renault (the french car maker), went into a marketing agreement with Nash/AMC I think to sell Renaults into some markets, and rebadge AMC products in others.
              This has resulted in the French market Renault Rambler I personally saw with my own eyes in my friends garage.
              It had been bought brand new by a long term Renault dealer in France, and he'd passed and it was sold on recently I believe. At first I thought it was just a Renault badge stuck on the trunk for a joke or something but the interior has been rebranded and the centre caps on the distinctive hubcaps etc.
              Its the 6 cylinder inline 6 lump, not sure of the box. It was up on the ramp getting work, because for all its rarety the rot monster has bitten it good.

              I'll snap some pictures when I go round if its still there. Its a curiosity for sure.

              Edit, digging round found some more info, for the curious there is a AMC/RRC (renault rambler club) here. The Presidential model is a rework for the French gov, done under potential for a contract to supply the government limo fleet of the time with them, although wikipedia says de Gaule went with a peugrot eventually.

              Last edited by MrFluffy; 06-01-2018, 04:44 AM.


              • #37
                My perception of the Renault/AMC tie-up gleaned from voracious consumption of auto/business publications of the day was that Renault was bringing cash to the table in return for instant access to the NA Market through a preexisting comprehensive dealer sales/parts/service network.

                I've read that, like several US mfrs, American Motors had earlier agreements with other foreign markets where they shipped kits to be assembled by local labour.

                Apparently the Renault negotiation included access to the French mkt and maybe adjacent mkts, in addition to the infusion of cash.

                Though compact by North American standards, AMCs would have seemed mid-sized, if not outright large in Europe. Picture a Concord, Matador, Rambler or even a Pacer or a Gremlin in a line-up of Rovers, Citro├źns, Volvos, Mercedes, Audis or BMWs of the day. My vote is the AMC would come across as quite spacious. (The exterior width might have proven to be problematic on the typically narrow streets and lanes.)


                • #38
                  Originally posted by The Artful Bodger View Post
                  I believe the road to Treble Cone is still a gravel track.
                  Is it still predominently single lane w/ no easement, nor guardrail separating vehicles from the long steep barren slope, devoid of any obstacle to arrest your progress before you reach the valley floor?

                  Maybe circumstance and memory exaggerate the experience ?

                  I rode to the summit as a passenger in what I recall was a '60s Ford Falcon Estate (stationwagon) with two Swiss couples I'd met the night before. I knew they had just recently purchased the car after arriving in NZ and I knew they had no prior knowledge of the road. I was riding in the front passenger seat and had a literally breath-taking view over the edge on the way up. Relief at getting to sit on the inboard side on the way down was mitigated by speculation as to the condition of the brakes.

                  I am grateful that we didn't encounter oncoming traffic in either direction. I wondered at the time and since whether private vehicles were even intended to travel the route. I have been on precarious roads elsewhere, but only commercial (sometimes specially equipped) vehicles were allowed to travel these.

                  Arrival and departure aside, it was a GLORIOUS day of skiing.


                  • #39
                    AMC in Australia
                    In 1960's Australian Motor Industries started assembling Ramblers from TKD kits exported from Wisconsin.
                    My father and uncle were agents.
                    The project was not successful, and few cars were produced. I recall the Hornet and Matador and another one.
                    Some of the Matadors became Govt cars which was a sign of distress.
                    AMI was taken over Toyota Motors.

                    At that time Ford and General Motor's Holden Motor Company were set up with assembly plants and engine plants.
                    They went on to dominate the car sales, introducing muscle versions of the local family sedans.
                    The TV advertising was intense. GM introduced a local version of the jingle:
                    "We Love Football, MEAT Pies, Kangaroos and Holden Cars !"

                    On the copying of 35mm slides and negatives with Micro 4/3 digital cameras,
                    In 2013 I made a microfocusser attachment based on a Pentax slide copier coupled to an Olympus.
                    It was a model gear motor about 2000:1 coupled to a leadscrew assembly made on the SB9A

                    That enabled each neg to be photographed 5 times with stepped focus differences of about 100 micrometre ( .004 inch)
                    That was to cope with lens aberration acros the frame and the unavoidable oil- can distorion of the film.
                    Optical design
                    The leadscrew was of 360 brass with an adjustable Vee-Cone bearing to take out end play
                    The final assembly

                    I wrote X bash scripts to automate the download off SD and alignment and production of a contrast stacked image.

                    This thing worked but not used anymore because the design could not be scaled up to produce sharp medium format copies
                    and higher end scanner was purchased for medium format.


                    • #40
                      The micro-focusser device sounds quite ingeneous. My only, ahem, exposure to darkroom work was as a brief part of the curriculum in jr high shop class - since noise and carbon monoxide wasn't involved, I was easily diverted.

                      Unfortunately, only the second link of the four successfully displays an image on my Android tablet. I hope this can be resolved, I'd like to see the other three.

                      So the approach was to automate digitzation, bracket each image and then manually select the best example from each grouping of 5? Or does the reference to contrast stacked images imply that a composite 'best' was automatically derived from each group of 5?

                      I never saw an AMC product in Oz, but I DID see a lot of other American cars - imported performance models that people had gone to mad lengths/expense to convert to RHD.

                      I bought an electrician's 4.0 L barn door '70 Ford Panel Van (XY?) to travel the outback.

                      It might have been Byron Bay where I fibreglassed the Ford's rocker panels to seal holes an inspector forcefully poked with an awl previously when I went in to renew certification in anticipation of selling the car on arrival in Sydney. Drove 40 mi back for a second inspection, passed, but somehow didn't have sufficient cash on hand to cover an additional unexpected charge just before closing on the last day of the car's existing certification. Without recertification, they would not have let the car leave the inspection compound.

                      Everyone behind the counter shuffled their feet and looked at the clock, save for one young guy. After an awkward few moments for me, he came up from the back of the room, pulled out the small difference required to settle the matter and presented this to the man in charge whom seemed to be enjoying my predicament. Although the young guy told me not to worry about it, I drove the 40 mi again the next day to repay him and brought along a case of Fosters just to emphasize my gratitude.


                      • #41
                        Hi Eddy,
                        I enjoyed your post and understood it well.
                        Those Ford panel vans of that era had a colloquial name that I would decline to mention, perhaps there was similar name in USA too.

                        About the photo server, because I am photo hobbiest I usually upload images at full resolution as archive.
                        The host downloads a reduced resolution png for your browser but it is still higher than typical resolution of mainstream photo hosts.
                        Maybe you can review them on your desktop or else i can pm the files.

                        About the processing of the micro 4/3 raw files.

                        It sounds like you are from a time when people could use o/s level scripting
                        ( yound one's eye glaze over)
                        and anyway I have fully commented the script to explain what each section does.
                        It uses parallel processing of the pixel level operations

                        Script code, no warranty, it is pdf so can't execute, and copy off screen at copier's risk.
                        Last edited by wombat2go; 06-01-2018, 12:40 PM.


                        • #42
                          That's interesting about the Renault Rambler. I never knew the AMC/Renault fusion went back that far or that AMC had actually imported their rebadged cars in France. I am, unfortunately, very well aware of how AMC imported the Renault Alliance's design to US AMC factories in the early-mid 80s. I bought a used Alliance in the late 80's with very low miles that was only 3 years old that for some reason was being sold for a stunningly cheap price. At the time, all you heard in their commercials was that Motor Trend magazine gave its "Car of the Year" award to the Alliance because it was so groundbreaking and awesome. The advertisements endlessly referenced the Motor Trend award and declared it was "The one to watch!"


                          Well, long story short that Alliance was the biggest POS I ever owned. Although really, I didn't own it for very long. I eventually sold it to a local junkyard because the manual transmission got jammed in one gear. The shifter linkage was always very sloppy on it despite its low miles. Somehow the transmission had jammed in normal use and no matter what I tried, even after dropping the transmission from the car, I could not get the shifter unjammed. I pondered completely disassembling the transmission and attempting to unjam it and possibly replace whatever parts it needed. But by that time I was sick of the car, having had to make all types of repairs to it before that incident. So I took the loss and had a wrecker come get it. I foreswear any French cars ever again after that. And also never to trust what these automotive magazines say. They're either bribed, completely incompetent, or both.

                          Looking back on AMC's management over a long period of time, the "Alliance" with Renault being just one example, it's a wonder they lasted as long as they did.

                          One funny thing that sticks in my mind about AMC: My family had a '72 AMC Hornet wagon when I was a kid, which actually was an ok car for that time. Reasonably reliable, well featured and had a nice running 304 V8. And it had a decent air conditioner too. But one thing it had on the A/C's control was a setting that said "Desert only".

                          Apparently, it was like an "afterburner" setting for the A/C system that you would only dare use in a dire situation, like when you're driving across a desert. And since we didn't live anywhere near a desert, my dad would never ever turn it on to that setting. And I remember sitting there in the passenger seat as a kid looking at it and a time or two I tried to set it to Desert only, only to have my hand smacked away. It became this mythically forbidden knob inside the car that you could only imagine what would happen if you used it. I assume in reality, it might have frosted over the evaporator in the event you had humidity levels above that commonly found in deserts. But as a kid it was just this verboten and untested thing that would taunt my imagination. Desert only.


                          • #43
                            That is a great anecdote.

                            If National Lampoon took a notion to reboot 'Summer Vacation' w/ Will Ferrell and, say Amy Poehler, your experience could be the basis of a key running gag as the Griswold family makes their way west to Wally World.

                            Though I do not KNOW, I'll venture that the 'Desert' setting was some marketing wizard's melodramatic adjective for what we refer to today as 'Recirculate'.

                            If so, turning that dial to the 'Desert' position caused cable actuators to close fresh air inlet damper doors and open others that permitted cabin air back into the blower's inlet plenum.

                            Perhaps cars destined for cold climates had controls labeled 'Arctic' in place of 'Desert' ?


                            • #44
                              And in the Holly cards, the valve that opened up under wide open throttle to let more fuel guzzle into the jets was called an "Economizer"
                              ( I used the 650 double pumper in my boats)


                              • #45
                                Ok, I looked into the "Desert only" setting because thinking about it again piqued my curiosity. From wikipedia

                                "A feature was the "desert only" setting on the A/C thermostat control, a position that typically ran the compressor continually. In humid environments, the evaporator will freeze up from the accumulating condensation if the compressor operates constantly, which will ultimately block airflow.[18] Other temperature settings cycle the compressor to prevent this problem. Freeze up is not a concern in dry environments such as deserts, and this setting provides constantly cooled air flow into the passenger compartment."

                                So now I FINALLY know what would have happened!